WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
- Natasha Matimba has a rare condition called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)
- It has caused contact with sunlight to burn her skin and trigger cancer
- Doctors told girl’s mother, from Zimbabwe, there was nothing else they can do
- Appeal launched to help family pay for items to make her more comfortable
These heart-breaking images reveal the torment of a seven-year-old girl who has had half her face ravaged by deadly skin cancer.
Natasha Matimba has astounded doctors by clinging on to life despite being given just months to live last year.
The youngster has a rare and incurable genetic condition which makes contact with sunlight or UV rays in artificial light burn her skin.
Sufferers of xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) – which affects only about 2,000 around the world – can get aggressive cancer from exposure to the sun.
Now, doctors have told her mother Winnet Bandam, from Zimbabwe, to take her daughter home as there is nothing else they can do to help her.
The illness means contact with sunlight or UV rays in artificial light burns her skin
Appeal for help
An appeal has been launched to help her family, who live with no electricity in a Norton in the province of Mashonaland West.
Liberty Goromonzi, an accountant based in Cambridge, has set up a fundraising page to pay for palliative care to make the time Natasha has left more comfortable.
On the page he wrote: ‘She holds on to dear life although her condition is deteriorating.
Doctors have told 7-year-old’s mother there is nothing they can do for her daughter
The Zimbabwean child needs a mattress/bed, bedding, diapers, antiseptic solution, bandages and painkillers
Natasha’s family have sold property to afford her medical costs but have run out of funds
‘Natasha’s life has been a struggle from when she was three months old, the mother said she has been in and out of hospital with her daughter.
‘Palliative care improves a patient’s quality of life by managing pain and other distressing symptoms of a serious illness.
‘However, due to financial constraints, Natasha’s family is trying to make her life as comfortable as it can be, but they are struggling to make ends meet.’
Natasha’s stepfather, Tinashe Phiri, is unemployed but has sold his property to raise funds for Natasha’s medical costs.
The items listed that the family need include a bed and mattress/bed, bedding, diapers, antiseptic solution, bandages and painkillers.
Sufferers need extreme protection
Families with children who have this rare condition must take extreme actions to prevent them being exposed to UV sunlight.
MailOnline reported in 2014 the story of a then three-year-old boy, Eddison Miller from Kent, who has to be covered in UV-protective clothing and a visor to go outdoors.
His parents Nicola and Andrew Miller also cover his skin in factor 50+ sun block every three hours and he plays in his own, specially-designed, indoor garden when it is too bright outside.
Fewer than 100 people in Britain have XP and he was one of the youngest to be told he has the disorder.
But it is not known if Natasha’s family have been thoroughly educated about her condition and if these precautions have been taken.
Mr Goromonzi told MailOnline that he is in touch with a family friend of the family in Zimbabwe to pass the funds raised on to.
To donate to the fund, visit here.